Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I have been thinking a lot recently about how the tools we use in our work have improved so dramatically in the last few decades and how this is mostly down to the frequently disparaged study of microbes. While everyone can get behind studying bacteria that cause life-threatening diseases like typhoid fever and cholera, I think that it is often harder to convince people of the value of studying ordinary and sometimes obscure bacteria that do not directly affect human health. However, over the years, such studies have revolutionized many aspects of our lives.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Recently, more than a dozen of our Institutes and Centers (ICs) came together to tell a story of interconnected, cross-discipline science at one of the largest medical meetings in the world, the 31,000-attendee-strong Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
Monday, December 8, 2014
How did I end up here? Nearly two decades of school. Countless coffee cups, pages of notes, and lost hours of sleep. College came and went like a whirlwind. Finally, I graduated with the piece of paper that people have been telling me is the ticket to the rest of my life: a Bachelor’s degree. Not only does this paper signify a level of previously non-existent expertise, it is also a stepping-stone to whatever’s next.
Friday, December 5, 2014
Here’s an example of how basic science can lead to clinical applications: Dr. Julius Axelrod’s discoveries about neurotransmitters and the metabolism of the nervous system lead to the development of a pain reliever, a new class of antidepressants, and a Nobel Prize.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Dr. L. Michelle Bennett, Director of the Center for Research Strategy at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has lectured extensively on the subject of “Collaboration and Team Science” in conjunction with former NIH Ombudsman Dr. Howard Gadlin. Their Field Guide has become the go-to resource for scientific teams around the world who are interested in establishing successful collaborations. We spoke with Dr. Bennett about why collaboration plays such an essential role in science today and why researchers within the IRP value access to it so highly.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Ever since studying transposons (mobile genetic elements) in graduate school, I’ve been fascinated by DNA and the many natural ways DNA moves and recombines within genomes. Transposons are responsible for multidrug resistance in bacteria, and the major players in V(D)J recombination in humans were derived from transposons. Now, as a postdoctoral fellow in the National Cancer Institute of the NIH, I conduct research focused on gene therapy strategies for hematologic malignancies and immunodeficiencies, because I am interested in the clinical application of basic biology.
Friday, November 28, 2014
Rocky Mountain wood ticks, or dermacentor andersoni, carry many diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), which can be fatal. Research on the cause, prevention, and treatment of tick-borne diseases began about 1900 at what is now the NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory (RML).
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Widely acknowledged as a key to overall health, the food we eat affects our bodies in ways that are not always clear, all the way down to the molecular level.
Monday, November 24, 2014
The NIH Research Festival this year was themed “The Era of the Brain,” so Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director, began the plenary session by highlighting the BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies). The President’s initiative has been the talk of the town recently and, thanks to some hard work by the leaders at the NIH, has now been transformed into a 12-year scientific vision.
Friday, November 21, 2014
This is our version of “Where’s Waldo?” It’s “Where’s Building 1?”